Have you ever moved out of a house or apartment after 5, 10, 15+ years? Did you notice anything? You probably realized you might need to apply to appear on the next episode of Hoarders. We all do it. We all accumulate “stuff.” Stuff can be junk or highly valuable; either way, we all have it. But what happens to all this stuff when you are no longer living?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a plan to give your belongings to the people you want? This is the idea behind wills and trusts – to have your possessions divided up among recipients as you wish. While it seems like a simple concept, over 66% of Americans do not have a will or trust.
The main difference between a will and a trust is how your stuff is divided among beneficiaries. While a will simply designates who gets what belongings, a trust establishes an intermediary, or trustee, who owns and administers your items for the beneficiaries.
While a will generally costs less and is simpler to create, it will only pertain to the property that is specifically outlined in writing. On the other hand, a trust establishes a trustee that will help make any other decisions that need to be made regarding your estate.
If you want to protect your stuff and make sure it’s passed on to your heirs how you want it distributed, make sure to speak with an estate planning attorney.